No disappointments today! In fact, if I maintained a bucket list (which I don't; why invite the bucket?) this would have been a definite tick on the list. Moggy and I have just arrived back at our apartment after seeing Macbeth at the Globe Theatre: a thoroughly enjoyable experience made even more so by sharing it with Rob and Jeannie.
This was a production containing no lighting wizardry, no elaborate stagecraft, a tiny bit of smoke but no mirrors - just acting and story and audience engagement. It saw the cast members regularly competing with the nose of aircraft overhead approaching Heathrow Airport, but this did not diminish from the performance - not even during Macbeth's crucial, "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow" soliloquy.
Macbeth, as I'm sure you know, explores some very dark themes and delves into the unpleasant aspects of human nature. This production had humour - plenty of it - which I'd not previously seen in the text, but which is certainly there if you choose to see it, as ably demonstrated tonight.
The production has given me a different perspective on the works of Shakespeare (whoever he may have been!). The reading I have done, the productions I have heard, the adaptions I have seen all treat the works with reverential respect. With the exceptions of the designated comedies, 'fun' is not generally an element immediately associated with Shakespeare, and certainly not with Macbeth. This production had lots of fun with the text, and I think I am now much closer to understanding how the plays - even "dark" plays like Macbeth - were pitched at, and received by, the baser levels of Elizabethan and Jacobean society.
AND I got to be in it! (albeit to a VERY minor extent). In Act IV, Malcolm and Macduff are on stage and Malcolm says:
With this there grows
At "desire his jewels" the actor playing Malcolm points with flourish to an audience member and engages in a little giggle-inducing raising and lowering of the eyebrows and nodding of the head. That audience member was me.
The play ended with one of the witches playing a sad, slow, fiddle refrain, which built in momentum, gathered in the orchestra, and became a lively jig in which all the cast participated and all the audience clapped in time. It was a wonderful end to a tremendous night of entertainment.